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Anthony
March 9, 2008, 07:06 PM
Hello Everyone,

I live in the flatlands of Texas where it is not very hard to find a 200 yard plus stretch of open landscape...even in the suburbs. I'm in the process of setting up a custom built M1A as my primary fighting rifle and plan to mount a high power scope and use one of the new red dot sight mounts from Tactical Night Vision Comapny (TNVC) that mounts an Aimpoint T-1 Micro red dot sight at the 2:00 O'Clock position so one can engage close range threats without losing your cheekweld. I've discussed the mount in detail with Aimpoint's law enforcement division and have attached a photo of it below for your reference.

Accepting that the close range threat is handled, what magnification range would you suggest for the high power optic that would provide both positive target identification and the capability to evaluate a target to ensure it was a threat before firing?

Thank you for your input on this critical issue.

- Anthony

Hard Ball
March 9, 2008, 09:43 PM
I have a Leupold 2x-7x variable scope on my NM M-1A, The scope is not bulky and the available magnification will handle any situation well.

strick909
March 9, 2008, 09:57 PM
For a 0 to 200 yard weapon, you might be better off with a single optic like the Trijicon Accupoint. The low power 1.25 setting will work well from 0 to 50 yards on threats and you can dial in greater magnification as you need it up to 4x. High power scopes would be fine for a designated sniper rifle, but narrow the field of view too much to be effective for run and gun work. You only need as much magnification as it takes to make an aimed shot and disable the threat. It is easy to go overboard, but lower is typicly better than higher if you are not sniping. Also, multiple optics will increase the weight of an already heavy weapon.

Keep it simple!

Wildalaska
March 10, 2008, 12:10 AM
If you are not a cop you have no business engaging at 200 yards. If you are, TA 11 5.5 Triji

WildimhoAlaska TM

bt 223
March 10, 2008, 12:14 AM
I have a 3-9 power on my AR. It works well for close to long range. It also serves as my home defense gun. At real close range just indexing off the top turret on the scope works well.

The Canuck
March 10, 2008, 02:08 AM
If you are not a cop you have no business engaging at 200 yards. If you are, TA 11 5.5 Triji


:confused:... Why?

Wildalaska
March 10, 2008, 02:51 AM
Why?

Why would a civilian even thinks of "fighting" at 200 yards?

WildabsentteotwawkiAlaska TM

Billy Sparks
March 10, 2008, 06:24 AM
Fighting? No. But if he was going to use it as a double duty rifle maybe. Here is what I mean if he is going to use it at the 200 yard area for varmits and hunting but wants to also use it for fighting. I agree with Wild on this one for a civilian at 200 yards you have plenty of time to retreat/escape.

skydiver3346
March 10, 2008, 07:12 AM
Is that where we have come to in our society now (where the bad guy has all the rights and the decent citizens of the country always have to retreat or escape in these situations). I'm new to the Firing Line and love the advice and opinions of the members. It is just too bad that society doesn't function like it used to.

Anthony
March 10, 2008, 09:19 AM
I generally agree with your sentiments, Wildalaska. That said, there are exceptions to every rule and I have always prepared for the worst case scenario ever since I was at the business end of a 12 gauge in an armed robbery.

Granted such 200 yard plus capability would most likely go unused in the self defense realm, but it just might come in handy for some delightful range time, fulfill some hunting needs, or just provide me with additional trigger time and enjoyment of learning how to hit targets at extended ranges.

Thank you for your thoughts.

- Anthony

garryc
March 10, 2008, 09:29 AM
I don't see engauging at 200 yrds when I can avoid. I will avoid if I can. The idea is to survive, not play rambo. If you engauge then there is a good chance he will win, and you will die. If defending a location then the person is going to broadcast his intentions with body language, that you can see with the naked eye.

The Canuck
March 10, 2008, 06:47 PM
So WA, in the same vein, why would a police officer need the same capability, being a civilian?

vox rationis
March 10, 2008, 09:05 PM
If you are not a cop you have no business engaging at 200 yards

Having a variable optic that can go up to 9 or 10X on a defensive rifle allows you threat identification that many argue is vastly superior to only a fixed low power scope. Especially in an urban environment with lots of shadows and only limited views of the potential threat. For example scoping in on a potential threat and seeing if that thing in their hand or waist band is a handgun, or is that person 300-400 meters away carrying a 4x4 or a rifle, that sort of thing. Having that magnification doesn't mean that you would engage at that distance, but it can allow you to decide that there is indeed a threat out there at 300-400 yards, and that you'd better safely egress out of the area, sooner rather than later. And sure binoculars can achieve the same thing, but binoculars is yet another thing to carry and lug around, not always practical. This is when your accuracy/target profiled semi-auto can become a good urban self defense set up.

5whiskey
March 10, 2008, 09:37 PM
Keeping on topic and not giving my opinion on to engage/not to engage... I would get an acog and do away with all of the "2 different sights" junk. To each their own, if you want an aimpoint mounted at 2 oclock then better you than me. That's one more thing to screw up. Acogs work wonders... not quiet as good close up but you can train with it enough to be pretty darn decent. They are also very good out to 4 and 500 yds.

BTW, I'll share a CQB trick for using an acog. Put a lens cover on the front of the acog (the flip-up type) so that you can flip the cover down and blacken the lens. When training for CQB, flip the lens cover DOWN. With both eyes open, notice that you can still see the red chevron in the reticle. Play with it a couple of seconds and you can see the red chevron "imprint" on a target. Shoot the target, and the bullet will go just a few inches to the left of where you were aiming (if you're looking through the scope with the right eye). This works well and is effective out to 50 yds. The further out you go the more the POI will be off, but just try this. Had a USMC Gunner teach me that trick. It works pretty darn well.

Wildalaska
March 10, 2008, 10:57 PM
So WA, in the same vein, why would a police officer need the same capability, being a civilian?

Police Officers have practical rules of engagement that civilians dont have based on civil liability.

Having a variable optic that can go up to 9 or 10X on a defensive rifle allows you threat identification


Dude this is not TEOTWAWKI....why would you be "threat identifying" in your suburban neighborhood with a loaded rifle?

No wonder the antis...

BTW, I'll share a CQB trick for using an acog. Put a lens cover on the front of the acog (the flip-up type) so that you can flip the cover down and blacken the lens. When training for CQB, flip the lens cover DOWN. With both eyes open, notice that you can still see the red chevron in the reticle. Play with it a couple of seconds and you can see the red chevron "imprint" on a target. Shoot the target, and the bullet will go just a few inches to the left of where you were aiming (if you're looking through the scope with the right eye). This works well and is effective out to 50 yds. The further out you go the more the POI will be off, but just try this. Had a USMC Gunner teach me that trick. It works pretty darn well.

Interesting. I learned from the local Scout Snipers to look down and over (hard to describe) the Acog so you see the chevron sort of laying there like a red dot. Use both eyes, a gun dead on at 100 yards will shoot 5 inches high at 25 (or at least my eyes will)....so I aim COM

WildroomclearingAlaska TM

vox rationis
March 10, 2008, 11:04 PM
Dude this is not TEOTWAWKI....why would you be "threat identifying" in your suburban neighborhood with a loaded rifle?

No wonder the antis...

Dude, have you ever heard of the Rodney King Riots? Hurricane Katrina? The 60's Chicago Riots? As much as you might not like the idea, the veneer of civilization is pretty thin. I was in L.A. during the Rodney King Riots, and being able to ID whether people furtively approaching your location are a threat or not could be a very useful thing.

Wildalaska
March 10, 2008, 11:08 PM
being able to ID whether people furtively approaching your location are a threat or not could be a very useful thing.

Well then buy some binos then. :rolleyes:

Youre at home anyway........

WildstopenoughAlaska TM

5whiskey
March 10, 2008, 11:23 PM
Interesting. I learned from the local Scout Snipers to look down and over (hard to describe) the Acog so you see the chevron sort of laying there like a red dot. Use both eyes, a gun dead on at 100 yards will shoot 5 inches high at 25 (or at least my eyes will)....so I aim COM

I've seen that trick also Wild... kinda the same concept (ok not quiet but close), just always awkward for me. Maybe no more awkward than remembering to flip the lens cover down when you go into a building that was shooting at you 2 minutes ago:eek:. I'm glad I'm out. (BTW I forgot to flip it down half the time but the acog is still pretty darn effective without that trick)

Dwight55
March 11, 2008, 08:39 AM
If I were Anthony, . . . I would opt for a scope mount that would allow me to still see a good set of ghost ring and post sights. That would give the best of both worlds, . . . and would be straight up and down.

Yes, I can see the need for a scope out to 200 or so yards, . . .

But relying on 17+ years of military experience, . . . I would far and away rather have either a good spotting scope (some are small enough for a front shirt pocket, . . . or a pouch on the M1A sling) or a pair of binoculars (again they can be gotten in a very small size and the pouch can be attached to the sling or buttstock).

A) they are far superior to a shooting scope as you see the whole field, nothing is hidden by the reticle, . . . and B) if I am watching you through my binoculars, . . . one of the things I will look for is a rifle barrel moving around trying to acquire a target, . . . and if I spot you first, . . . the only thing you would see possibly is the smoke from my rifle as it sent 2000+ fps lead your way.

Anyway, . . . may God bless,
Dwight

MLeake
March 11, 2008, 09:05 AM
Binoculars are the way to scan and identify. Using a riflescope to identify friend or foe violates at least two major firearms safety rules.

That said, some of us would benefit from using those scopes on civilian weapons for training purposes, because we might be handed similiar weapons at later times for areas where they are both appropriate and necessary (IE Iraq, Afghanistan...)

garryc
March 11, 2008, 10:27 AM
I like his rig with the two sighting devices. It sure beats the heck out of elevated see through rings.

Anthony
March 11, 2008, 10:40 AM
Binoculars are a valid part of the rifleman's kit and definitely one I believe in keeping with a fighting rifle. That said, binoculars do not assist the shooter in knowing when a confirmed threat ceases to be one.

Yes, binoculars are an essential part of the kit, but they are not a substitute for a higher power scope in my eyes.

- Anthony

vox rationis
March 11, 2008, 09:22 PM
The thread is titled:
Optics for the Fight Rifle: Target Identification & Evaluating the Threat

And I'd think that a scope that goes up to 8, 9, or 10x would fit that profile pretty well. Lots of people like the SPR type scopes that are generally in the range of 2.5-8X and 3-9X, that type of thing. I was thinking of picking up a 2.5-10x24 Nightforce NXS or a Leupold Mark 4 2.5-8x for one of my rifles myself.

And having binoculars/spotting scope is great, but the thread isn't about binoculars vs scopes. Also, a set of binoculars or a spotting scope is yet another piece of gear to lug around or waiting to be lost or left behind. Having a high quality variable power optic on your rifle that could go near 10x could be a really practical set up for everything from precise target shooting, to hunting, and yes even for family self defense during a horrible civil breakdown where you might need to do some threat evaluation. :p :D

MLeake
March 12, 2008, 05:20 AM
Ok, you lighten your kit by ditching the binoculars. Your 8,9, or 10X scope will do the trick.

Now, every time you identify threats (and more importantly, NON-THREATS) you are covering them with a loaded rifle.

So much for not pointing the muzzle at anything you aren't ready to destroy, and knowing both your target and whatever is downrange.

Of course, you could unload the weapon first... but if the person being scoped sees you, he won't know that, and may assume hostile intent on your part (and reasonably so).

This is irresponsible, especially in a civilian setting.

MLeake
March 12, 2008, 03:08 PM
To add to my last...

... where I live, if a person saw you looking through a riflescope at him, he could charge you with brandishing and felony level assault (which only requires a reasonably perceived THREAT of violence, based on reasonable man standard), and those charges would have good odds of sticking.

Again, unless you are military at war, or SWAT on a target, it is completely inappropriate to use a riflescope for identification purposes. (And even military and SWAT snipers have spotters with binoculars and spotter scopes...)

The Canuck
March 12, 2008, 08:33 PM
Sorry WA, I don't buy your brand today.

Why do the Police, who are only allowed to use firearms defensively need this while we, as thier fellow civilians are also only allowed to use firearms defensively are NOT allowed the same courtesy? Also, where does this fit into your Second Amendment again? Just wondering...

Also, you guys should look at Elcan's Spectre DR scope. A real nice bit of kit with a quickflip 1x/4x lense and a variable intensity illuminated red dot sight and scope reticle.

Wildalaska
March 12, 2008, 10:34 PM
"Why do the Police, who are only allowed to use firearms defensively need this while we, as thier fellow civilians are also only allowed to use firearms defensively are NOT allowed the same courtesy?


Its called the concept of criminally negligent (insert death or injury here)...

WildfollowsofarAlaska TM

vox rationis
March 12, 2008, 10:42 PM
Oh boy, some of you crack me up.

Of course that in an ideal world you'd have a 40x spotting scope, a 10x35 pair of binocs and your old lady playing spotter, but the question is, if you are forced by less than ideal circumstances to use a scope for thread ID, then what type of scope would be most practical.

Some of you shouldn't be so quick to be so sanctimonious, my high priests of impeccable firearm safety.

For example, let's say that it is Hurricane Katrina II, no intrepid law enforcement is around to come to help, and some dangerous looking dudes around 100 yards away or more are converging on your position, or are even taking pot shots your way and for some reason you can't retreat (wounded, or sick family member, etc.) and you forgot your 40x spotting scope, you lost or cracked your 10x35 binoculars, and your spotter with the telescope took a wrong turn and didn't make it. Are you telling me that you would refuse to use your rifle mounted scope to ID the nature of the threat?!

For a real life example, during the Rodney King riots some of the Korean liquor store owners were up on their roofs returning fire with handguns at longer range threats that were shooting at them and converging on their stores to destroy their life's work and possibly their very lives. How much better it would have been had they had long guns with good optics that could answer questions like: "gee is that person behind that bush 75 yards away just some kid playing with a stick/toy gun or a gang banger trying to maneuver on my position", or, "gee is that shadow in that window a block away the thug shooting covering fire for the thugs trying to firebomb our liquor store, or merely an innocent person".

In those types of extreme situations, a good scope can help you realize that a previously identified "threat" might instead be a total innocent. But darn, if you just so happen to have your 40x spotting scope, or even your 10x35 Binoculars, that of course have been grafted to your shanks, then by all means, use those instead :D.

Wildalaska
March 12, 2008, 10:49 PM
Yeah like kids playing paintball and getting guns pointed at them.

WildyourexamplesaresillyandyouradhominemschildishAlaska TM

azredhawk44
March 12, 2008, 11:55 PM
I had an asshat point a rifle at me way down south, about 2 miles from the Mexico border, during javelina season. He wasn't part of my hunting party and I didn't know him... it was about 300 yards distant.

He was using his scope to get a better look at me.

I dove for the dirt really quick and rolled behind a tree. The shot didn't come, and five terrifying minutes later I made my way under brush to better cover to assess the situation with binoculars, and if necessary, handgun.

The guy was gone by this point, and I never saw him again. I honestly don't know what I would have done if I re-encountered the guy, or if I would even recognize him as being the same guy who aimed at me.

I'm just glad that I didn't get shot, and that the guy didn't point his rifle at me again.

Please don't point your rifle at anyone. That's what spotting scopes and binoculars are for. I can ring the gong at 300 yards with my Redhawk, and it's only a little bit wider than a person. Someone might shoot back, even if they are only hunting with a handgun.

Back on topic, I have a Leupold FX-2 4x33 fixed power on my M1A. I can shoot from 25 yards to 500 yards with it. I keep it zeroed for a 25/250 yard zero. It's nice and small and light, but clears up the target enough that I can tell the difference between a jackrabbit and a cottontail at 200 yards.

If spotting is my PRIMARY job, I have some Leupold Wind River 10x50 binoculars that do an excellent job. If I'm loaded down and walking around a lot in back country, I have some cheap simmons folding 8x24 pocket binos that do well enough.

But I don't use my rifle scope to just "look" at anything that even vaguely resembles a person.

MLeake
March 13, 2008, 04:57 AM
I don't care if it's post hurricane, earthquake, or what. If I see somebody pointing a rifle my way, the very least that will happen is that the police will be called.

While we are on the high horse, my binoculars are stored with my rifles, so I'd personally have no excuse for NOT having them. Since you are describing a home defense in time of disaster scenario, you would in theory be home. Ergo, you should have your binoculars or other scope.

All you are doing by forcing this scenario is trying to justify legally and morally irresponsible behavior, in a public forum.

MLeake
March 13, 2008, 05:00 AM
If guys are taking potshots at me as they converge, per your most extreme scenario, then threat identification has become a moot point.

vox rationis
March 13, 2008, 08:12 PM
If guys are taking potshots at me as they converge, per your most extreme scenario, then threat identification has become a moot point.

There were a few other scenarios in there where having a scope on the rifle would have clearly given an advantage in properly ID'ing the threat; and if a threatening group was coming toward your position, pot shots included, you'd still want to better visualize just who the gunman is etc.


All you are doing by forcing this scenario is trying to justify legally and morally irresponsible behavior, in a public forum.

Haha, oh boy..
I think that you have to re-read my last post because based on your answers you couldn't have carefully read what I said. I clearly delineated that in extreme situations, having access to a good scope on one's rifle can indeed save an innocent life. Why is it difficult for you to process that no one is talking about sighting in on people willy nilly under normal circumstances, scope or no scope. No one is talking about using a rifle mounted scope in lieu of binoculars or a spotting scope if those are available and more appropriate to use .

What I'm talking about is, the benefit of having a scope on your rifle when you are in danger and in fear for your life, and when the decision to sight in on a threat has already been made. The scope can show you that the "threat" may instead be a kid with a paintball gun (to borrow from Wildalaska's great example), and I'd hate for you to commit an act of immoral behavior of shooting at a mis-identified target. So obviously, having the extra target ID capability of the rifle scope may be absolutely invaluable.

And I know that your set of binoculars are permanently attached to your noggin, but to come at this issue from a more tactical angle: under extreme circumstances like I described, may I suggest that pointing binoculars instead of your scope mounted rifle at what you believe to be a genuine threat to your life is quite foolish. Because I'd hate for you to be stuck with binoculars in your hand when in fact you really should have had your scope mounted rifle.

vox rationis
March 13, 2008, 10:05 PM
had an asshat point a rifle at me way down south, about 2 miles from the Mexico border, during javelina season. He wasn't part of my hunting party and I didn't know him... it was about 300 yards distant.

He was using his scope to get a better look at me.

Yikes, of course, what that man did is very clearly incorrect and very off putting, not to mention extremely dangerous. Pointing a weapon at someone is very serious business, and this is why I was writing only within the context of pointing one's rifle at perceived serious threats, in an extreme situation of self defense, not to merely take a peak at people using a rifle mounted scope. My mistake I suppose is that I took it for granted that we were all on the same page topic and scenario wise.

kkb
March 13, 2008, 10:26 PM
Replying to the OP;

How about using Aimpoint's Magnifier (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=328213&t=11082005) behind the red-dot?

With a quick release mount you can detach and use as a monocular for scanning.

Mannlicher
March 14, 2008, 03:28 PM
I am running iron sights on my two full size M1A rifles. MY SOCOM wears an EoTech.

The Canuck
March 14, 2008, 06:53 PM
You only asnwered one of my questions WA, and poorly at that (you get a "D", a technical pass, but a moral failure). How's about taking a kick at the second one?

MLeake
March 15, 2008, 01:10 PM
I'll address your second question, Canuck.

The 2nd Amendment guarantees that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged. Depending on one's political leanings (and whether one has bothered to read the Federalist Papers and other old documents), there are some arguments about whether this right applies to individuals in general or to state militia members in particular.

Nowhere does 2A say the people have the right to look at others through riflescopes.

IE your question doesn't pertain in any way to the topic.

As far as your first question, police don't identify people via sniper scopes, unless a spotter has already called target location. So that question has a negative bearing for your argument.

Cheers.

The Canuck
March 15, 2008, 02:05 PM
Okay, first off, I agree with that. I must have missed the part where we were actually began talking about sighting people through a mounted scope. My bad. I was more puzzled by the fact that WA seemed to be saying that only the Police should have fighting optics. So in regards to this coming to light, I apologize and retract any previous statements made regarding the act of sighting people through a rifle scope.

As for good optics for an AR or other rifle of similar function, I still recommend the ELCAN Spectre DR (http://www.elcan.com/ELCAN_Business_Areas/Sighting_Systems/Products/Day_Sights/SpecterDR.php). Its a pretty neat-o set up.

Wildalaska
March 15, 2008, 03:15 PM
You only asnwered one of my questions WA, and poorly at that (you get a "D", a technical pass, but a moral failure). How's about taking a kick at the second one?

Do you not understand the concept of criminal negligence?

WildtherestisselfevidentAlaska TM

The Canuck
March 16, 2008, 03:43 PM
WA, please refer to Post #39.